Internship Project

CT-based Fossil Vertebrate Anatomy

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum Berlin)
Subject Area
Vertebrate Paleontology
06 May – 26 July
20 May – 09 August 

Internship Modality:
On-site internship in Berlin

The application is closed, and all positions have been filled.
Applications for 2025 will open in October 2024.
Project Supervisor(s)
Prof. Jörg Fröbisch, PhD
Academic Level
Advanced undergraduate students (from second year) 
Master's students 
Ph.D. students 
Further Information
Project Type
Academic Research
Project Content
The application of computed tomography (CT) in Vertebrate Paleontology has proven to be very useful for examining the internal anatomy of various vertebrates (specifically: tetrapods) and testing hypotheses regarding the interrelationships of the significant early tetrapod groups. Amniotes (fully terrestrial vertebrates) represent one of the major lineages of vertebrates with an evolutionary history of about 320 million years. However, there are still many uncertainties regarding the early evolutionary history of the group during the Paleozoic. 
This project will involve utilizing micro-CT data to investigate and digitally segment an early amniote's internal skull (endocranial) anatomy. It will also include an anatomical description of the newly revealed anatomy and performing updated phylogenetic analyses. The research will contribute important information that will lead to a more thorough understanding of early amniote evolution.
Tasks for Interns
  • Segmentation of CT data using specialty software VGStudioMax or Amira
  • Literature research
  • Anatomical description
  • Phylogenetic analysis
Academic Level
Advanced undergraduate students (from second year) 
Master's students 
Ph.D. students 
  • Background in Vertebrate Anatomy
  • Additional beneficial skills:
    • Background in Vertebrate Paleontology
    • Experience with CT segmentation
    • Experience with phylogenetic analysis 
Expected Preparation
Readings into vertebrate paleontology and specifically into the early evolution of amniotes (reptiles and synapsids).
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For more information on the Humboldt Internship Program or the project, please contact the program coordinator.